10.6 million people use Canabis in Nigeria

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the drug use in Nigeria report, stating that the drug prevalence rate is 14.4 per cent.

The bureau in a report, which was uploaded on its website, stated that the 14.4 per cent prevalence rate translates into about 14.3 million people.

It said the extent of drug use in Nigeria is comparatively high when compared to the 2016 global annual prevalence rate of 5.6 per cent.

It said in Nigeria, one in seven persons between the ages of 15 and 64 had used a drug other than tobacco and alcohol.

The report stated that among every four drug users in Nigeria, one was a woman.

It said the highest levels of drug use were among those between the ages of 25 and 39.

The NBS report also stated that cannabis was the most commonly used drug, noting that about 10.6 million people had used it in the past one year.

The report read in part, “Cannabis use was seven times higher among men-18.8 per cent among men compared to 2.6 per cent of women, while the gender gap in the non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids, such as

Tramadol, was six per cent among men, compared to 3.3 per cent among women.”

Geographically, the report stated that the highest prevalence of drug use was found in the southern geopolitical zones with prevalence rates ranging between 13.8 per cent and 22.4 per cent, compared to the northern geopolitical zones which had prevalence rates ranging between 10 per cent and 13.6 per cent.

The report said nearly 40 per cent of high-risk drug users indicated a need for treatment of drug use disorders.

“Most of the high risk drug users considered it was difficult to access drug treatment. The cost of  treatment and stigma attached to drug use were cited as the primary  barriers in accessing or availing drug treatment services,” it added

It also said, Yobe, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Lagos states were “the states where it was more  difficult to access treatment for drug use disorder.”